Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak holds a press conference on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 15, 2014. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that no conclusive evidence shows missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was hijacked. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
Kuala Lumpur, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said here Saturday that investigators have evidence that the missing jet's communications were deliberately disabled and it turned back from its route to Beijing.
Data suggested "with a high degree of certainty" that the plane's two automated communication systems were switched off one after the other before it reached the point over the South China Sea where it lost civilian radar contact at 1,:30 a.m. on March 8, he said.
The prime minister said the authorities are now trying to trace the airplane across two possible "corridors," a northern corridor from the border of Kazakstan and Turkmenistan through to northern Thailand, and southern corridor from Indonesia to southern Indian Ocean.
He said the expanded search area is based on the latest available satellite data.
"Clearly the search for MH370 has entered a new phase,"he noted.
But he denied earlier media report that the plane was hijacked. "Despite media reports that the plane was hijacked, I wish to be very clear: we are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path," he said.
A massive international search began initially in the South China Sea where the plane's transponders stopped transmitting. It has since been expanded onto the other side of the Malay Peninsula up into the Andaman Sea and into the Indian Ocean.
Malaysian PM says cannot confirm missing jetliner hijacked
KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that no conclusive evidence shows missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was hijacked.
But the Boeing 777 aircraft did turn back from its last known location on civilian radar, and the signal the Malaysian military radar picked up at the north of the Strait of Malacca was from the missing plane, he added. Full story
Malaysian PM says missing jet's communications disabled, investigation refocuses on crew, passengers
KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that the communications system of the missing Malaysian Airlines jet was disabled just before it reached the east coast of peninsula Malaysia.
There is strong indication of deliberate deviation from air route, and the Malaysian authorities have refocused investigation into the crew and passengers on board the plane, he said. Full story
FLASH: STRONG INDICATION OF DELIBERATE DEVIATION FROM AIR ROUTE FOUND IN MISSING JET
FLASH: PM SAYS MALAYSIAN AUTHORITIES ENDING SEARCH OPERATION INSOUTH CHINA SEA
FLASH: MALAYSIAN PM SAYS LAST CONTACT WITH MISSING MH370 FLIGHT WAS AT 8:11 A.M. LOCAL TIME
FLASH: MALAYSIAN PM SAYS MH370 MOVEMENT SHOWS DELIBERATE ACTION
FLASH: MALAYSIAN PM SAYS UNABLE TO CONFIRM PRECISE LOCATION OF MH370
FLASH: MALAYSIAN PM CONFIRMS MALACCA SIGNAL CAME FROM MH370
FLASH: MALAYSIAN PM SAYS HIGH PROBABILITY MH370 COMMUNICATION WAS SWITCHED OFF